Local MP Caroline Dinenage will be supporting 'Small Business Saturday' this weekend as she urges shoppers to support local independent retailers.

This Saturday, Caroline will be touring a number of local small businesses, as well as officially opening Gosport’s newest independent trader, Soul Foods, in The Precinct, Gosport.

Small Business Saturday is an initiative encouraging everyone in the UK to shop small, both on the day and beyond. The initiative is led by American Express in collaboration with British businesses, organisations and local authorities, and supported by the Government.

Last year over 140,000 tweets were sent on the day reaching 130 million people, trending on Twitter in the UK and globally. People across the UK spent a total of £717 million at small businesses, an increase of 15% on 2015 spending.

The event is part of a wider national campaign to raise the profile of small businesses and ensure that the Government is doing all it can to help them flourish.

Speaking ahead of the event, Caroline said:

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and have the power to drive us ahead in the global race. That’s why I am proud to be backing 'Small Business Saturday' and encouraging people to shop at small independent retailers, this Saturday and beyond!

I’ll be doing some of my own Christmas shopping in some of the fantastic independent retailers in Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hill Head and Stubbington. By shopping small and supporting small business you are also supporting our local community and economy!"

Having run a small business for over 20 years, promoting the value of small businesses has always been a key priority for Caroline. She was an active member of the BIS Select Committee and was appointed Small Business Ambassador for the south by the Prime Minister in 2013.

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